It’s March and it means we are only 4 months away to the Olympics. Sure, there’s chatter that the Olympics will be closed off to foreign tourists even in light of a vaccine, but that hasn’t stopped me from planning my Japan trip with ANA (after their reduction of fuel surcharges) and hosting Atas Accountant’s first ever giveaway for a free hotel stay in Japan!
Today, I would like to share the resources I’ve used that has assisted me in planning for my trip, one that I can’t wait to arrive!
This is the OG of all the sites – Japan-Guide.com contains every information available. I first come across this when I planned my first trip to Japan in 2016 before my enlistment. Every information you need; the prefectures, the top tourist sites, the different train passes available, the Japanese holidays, you are bound to find them available here. They frequently update this site too; they even have a live update about the coronavirus restrictions that are ongoing in Japan, making it fuss-free for any traveller to plan for their preferred itinerary.
They even have a official Youtube Video channel, close to 200k subscribers. You get immersed in their professional filming workmanship, with entertaining hosts sharing their bespoke experience in the land of the Rising Sun.
H.I.S Travel is a travel conglomerate from Japan best known for offering travellers customised itineraries in Japan. With more than 15,000 employees, they operate over 300 branches throughout Japan and more than 150 branches worldwide. They also own a few travel services such as car rental services, budget friendly hotels, etc. I was first introduced to them by my uncle, who has been living in Japan with his family for more than 10 years.
H.I.S Travel has a branch in Singapore at Tanjong Pagar at 100AM. I frequent their site to download inspiration on customising my own Japan itinerary. For example, my proposed Okinawa itinerary for July 2020 was largely formed after consulting their friendly staff. They recommended visiting the Orion Draft Beer Brewery Tour in Nago and recommended Capes to visit. For the relaxed, there are also pre-planned itineraries for every part of Japan so you don’t have to do much planning.
Only In Japan
Only In Japan has its claim to fame on being one of the most popular Youtube channel with more than 1.5m subscribers. The channel offers a plethora of content, ranging from food to hidden sites, festivals and tips for first-time or seasoned travellers.
They seem to have recently gone through a makeover, with former creator John Daub starting a brand new channel and bringing his own flavour of showing others in Japan. I’ll definitely still give both channels a watch before any trip to Japan! Atas Accountant wishes both teams all the best in their continued fantastic storytelling of this beautiful country.
Hyperdia is an essential tool for anyone planning their timetable for their time in Japan. We have all heard famed reports about how punctual Japan trains are, so you definitely don’t want to be caught missing your train! Hyperdia provides route planning itineraries, timetabling schedules and real-time updates on all the trains in Japan so it is definitely your one-stop shop to get all you need for getting around Japan. Hyperdia also offers clear distinction between the different train networks so that every traveller is clear on which train networks are covered under their rail passes It’s even downloadable as an app in your phone so it is pretty handy! I normally search my routing on my laptop before saving the routes on my phone.
Klook has become a household name for many travellers due to its ease and variety of activities offered with more than thousands of vendors around the world. Personally, it’s been my go to place when I am looking for my tickets, passes, activities for not just Japan, but anywhere I go.
For example, for my upcoming Okinawa trip, I’ll be using Klook to purchase the Okinawa Mini Churaumi Pass, offering multi-day access to different attractions throughout my time in the offshore Japan island.
To illustrate the global offerings from Klook, I’m glad to share that I’ve previously purchased metro passes for my visits in Osaka, attraction passes to Ba Na Hills in Da Nang, Vietnam, as well as Eurostar tickets for London to Paris. Klook truly offers competitive price points and excellent customer service when redeeming the actual products.
Other Honourable Mentions
There are definitely other resources I consume, such as the site Matcha, which provides interesting reads from time to time. I also watch documentaries such as Life Where I’m From, and also get familiarised with the different sights of Japan with TokyoStreetView – Japan The Beautiful.
All in all, these have occupied my time in planning my trip to Japan for the summer Olympics. I hope they will be beneficial to you too!